A surprise twist sets up the cracker of a cliffhanger

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MIND GAMES

From the Lock & Mori series , Vol. 2

The adventures of a modern Holmes and a girl Moriarty, begun in Lock & Mori (2015), continue.

When Jamie Moriarty—Mori—proved her abusive father was the serial killer responsible for murdering Mori's con-artist mother and best friend, it just complicated her life. Sure, as a 16-year-old she's allowed to live alone, but her beloved kid brothers are saved from the foster system only by the fortuitous appearance of their dead mother's BFF. Mori's ex-cop dad has too many allies in the police force; are they responsible for framing Mori by leaving a dismembered hand in her rubbish bin? Mori's relationship with her brilliant classmate Lock—Sherlock Holmes himself—develops romantically (was the gender-swap really necessary to add sexual tension to this century-old pairing of beloved enemies?), but Mori keeps a distance, protecting her heart. Sherlock repeatedly imposes on Mori far too often (while mouthing platitudes about respect), with unpleasant boundary pushing that leads Mori to doubt herself. Luckily, she's a splendidly resourceful heroine: despite her gaslighting father, her pushy boyfriend, and the multiple murderers who trash her house and leave a corpse in her doorway, Mori keeps her own wise counsel and solves the many puzzles around her. Copious Americanisms weaken the London setting of these white teens.

A surprise twist sets up the cracker of a cliffhanger . (Thriller. 12-15)

Pub Date: Dec. 6, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4814-2306-9

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Sept. 19, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2016

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This is no didactic near-future warning of present evils, but a cinematic adventure featuring endearing, compelling heroes

LEGEND

From the Legend series , Vol. 1

A gripping thriller in dystopic future Los Angeles.

Fifteen-year-olds June and Day live completely different lives in the glorious Republic. June is rich and brilliant, the only candidate ever to get a perfect score in the Trials, and is destined for a glowing career in the military. She looks forward to the day when she can join up and fight the Republic’s treacherous enemies east of the Dakotas. Day, on the other hand, is an anonymous street rat, a slum child who failed his own Trial. He's also the Republic's most wanted criminal, prone to stealing from the rich and giving to the poor. When tragedies strike both their families, the two brilliant teens are thrown into direct opposition. In alternating first-person narratives, Day and June experience coming-of-age adventures in the midst of spying, theft and daredevil combat. Their voices are distinct and richly drawn, from Day’s self-deprecating affection for others to June's Holmesian attention to detail. All the flavor of a post-apocalyptic setting—plagues, class warfare, maniacal soldiers—escalates to greater complexity while leaving space for further worldbuilding in the sequel.

This is no didactic near-future warning of present evils, but a cinematic adventure featuring endearing, compelling heroes . (Science fiction. 12-14)

Pub Date: Nov. 29, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-399-25675-2

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: April 8, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2011

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Quietly suspenseful, vividly character-driven, and poignant, with insights into cerebral palsy and the multiple meanings of...

I HAVE NO SECRETS

A nonverbal teen becomes the “real-life password” to solving a terrible crime in this British import.

Sixteen-year-old Jemma has “no secrets of [her] own.” Quadriplegic due to cerebral palsy, she can’t move or speak and depends on her foster parents and her aide, Sarah, for everything from eating to using the bathroom. But people often share their secrets with her. After all, Jemma can never tell—even when Sarah’s sleazy boyfriend, Dan, hints at his involvement in a recent murder just before Sarah goes missing. But when innovative technology offers Jemma a chance to communicate, can she expose Dan’s secret before he silences her? Despite its suspenseful premise, the plot pales against Joelson’s (Girl in the Window, 2018) intimate, unflinching exploration of Jemma’s character; the book’s most powerful tension lies in Jemma’s simple, direct narration of her unrecognized, uncomfortably realistic frustrations and fears, such as patronizing adults who “don’t realize that [she has] a functioning brain” and her worry that her overwhelmed parents will stop fostering. Refreshingly, the author’s detailed depiction of augmentative and alternative communication explores both the joy of self-expression and the physical and mental effort it requires. Jemma’s bond with her chaotic but supportive foster family grounds the story, particularly her touching rapport with her younger foster brother, Finn, who’s autistic and also nonverbal. Most characters appear white.

Quietly suspenseful, vividly character-driven, and poignant, with insights into cerebral palsy and the multiple meanings of “family.” (Suspense. 12-15)

Pub Date: Nov. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4926-9336-9

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Review Posted Online: Aug. 13, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2019

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